Toronto, Ontario

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Harbourfront Centre | 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

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For the past 27 years, The Word On The Street has been renowned for the quality and diversity of its event programming. See the lineup of incredible Canadian literary talent that appeared at our 28th festival on September 24, 2017  

The Great Canadian Book

4:15 PM - 4:45 PM

Stand on guard for these! Nick Mount traces the evolution of the Canadian literary movement, while Dr. Anne Urbancic reveals the historical footnotes to the rise of CanLit icons.


In the mid-twentieth century, Canadian literature transformed from a largely ignored trickle of books into an enormous cultural phenomenon that produced Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro, Michael Ondaatje, Mordecai Richler, and so many others. In Arrival, acclaimed writer and critic Nick Mount answers the question: What caused the CanLit Boom? Arrival is a dazzling, variegated, and inspired piece of writing that helps explain how we got from there to here.

  • Nonfiction

Nick Mount

Nick Mount is a professor of English literature at the University of Toronto, award-winning critic, and former Fiction Editor at The Walrus. He regularly gives public talks on the arts in Canada, and has appeared on TVO’s Big Ideas and CBC Radio’s Sunday Edition. He is a two-time finalist in TVO’s Best Lecturer Competition. In 2011, he was awarded a 3M National Teaching Fellowship, the country’s highest teaching award. He lives in Toronto.

Literary Titans Revisted

As the sixties became the seventies, legendary interviewer Earle Toppings recorded sixteen emerging Canadian writers who would go on to become icons of CanLit. Presented here alongside critical notes and the recollections of Toppings himself, the transcripts of these recordings are a window on the early careers of Canada’s literary masters.

  • Nonfiction

Anne Urbancic

Anne Urbancic is Mary Rowell Jackman Professor of Humanities at Victoria College (University of Toronto). Along with Earle Toppings himself, her project collaborators are the Northrop Frye Centre Undergraduate Fellows of 2015–16. She lives in Toronto.